Superior Court upholds decision granting BMW's motion for change of venue in car-crash case

By Chandra Lye | Jun 12, 2017

\PHILADELPHIA — The state Superior Court upheld on May 24 a venue decision in favor of BMW in a case stemming from a car crash.

The lawsuit began with a collision that happened in Lancaster County in which the plaintiff, Max Faust, was a passenger. Faust suffered injuries to his right eye after the vehicle's airbag released. 

He then sued BMW NA, the airbag manufacturer and the dealership that sold the car.

Faust filed the lawsuit in Philadelphia County, but the defendants filed preliminary objections to the case being heard in that venue.

While BMW claimed that it did not keep records on the number of sales made in the county, employees of a county dealership said they could get the data quite easily.

Regardless, the trial court granted the preliminary objections and moved the case to Lancaster County. 

Faust’s appeal of the trial court's decision in the case raised two issues that the Superior Court was asked to consider, which both revolved around the appropriate venues question.

“Faust contends that the trial court erred in concluding that BMW NA established that it did not regularly conduct business in Philadelphia,” the decision stated

The Superior Court concluded that “the quality of BMW NA’s contacts with Philadelphia County is insufficient to establish venue.”

In the end, the Superior Court stated that Faust failed to demonstrate the trial court abused its discretion in changing the venue.

“The trial court did not abuse its discretion in granting the Appellee's preliminary objections and transferring the case to Lancaster County,” the decision stated.

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